Schoolkids share their thoughts on Europe with Minister-President Stephan at a Europe Live! event.
Brexit, the euro and right-wing populism are all European policy issues that interest the pupils of the Albert Einstein School in Laatzen and the IGS School in Roderbruch, who enjoyed the opportunity to discuss them with Lower Saxony’s Minister-President Stephan Weil at the Europe Live! event. The Europe Live! project regularly brings politicians and schoolchildren together to engage in dialogue on controversial and other issues relating to Europe.
Hanover 14.3.2017 – Many young people today find it hard to identify with the idea of uniting Europe to secure lasting peace, which led to the European Union’s foundation, because it’s simply too far-removed from their everyday reality. At the same time, the numerous advantages of the European Union – from the single currency and freedom of movement to intercultural exchanges and unrestricted travel – are all aspects of their lives that they take for granted. Yet, despite these advantages, they are often disinterested and sometimes downright sceptical about Europe.
The pupils at the Albert Einstein School in Laatzen and the IGS School in Roderbruch used two videos that they had produced themselves to start off the discussion of European issues with Minister-President Stephan Weil.
The TUI Foundation initiated the Europe Live! events to discover what the younger generation thinks about Europe, how closely it identifies with the idea behind the European Union, and to give them the opportunity to question and discuss European issues with experts from politics, society and European institutions.
Stephan Weil explained, “We can only sustain peace in Europe with the younger generation’s support. These youngsters already experience Europe in multiple dimensions, and the social media, mobility and internationality are second nature to them. It’s crucial in times of crisis to defend the key European values of freedom of opinion, tolerance, democracy and solidarity. I’m very optimistic that this will happen after listening to the schoolchildren’s questions because they have shown interest, the ability to take criticism and a willingness to engage in Europe.“
Teacher Carolin Jünemann and the children in her class were taking part in their first Europe Live! event and they were full of praise for the project. “The kids think the project’s fantastic and they’ve been working very hard preparing for the Europe Live! event. It’s amazing how many different aspects of Europe they have covered.“
Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the TUI Foundation, Thomas Ellerbeck, is confident that Europe Live! is making an important contribution to supporting the European idea. “It’s time for us to show our collective support for Europe and, despite all the challenges, to focus to a greater extent on the opportunities associated with the European Union so that we can inspire young people to do the same.“
The event took place at 6 p.m. on 13 March at the TUI CongressCenter, Karl-Wiechert-Allee 4, 30625 Hannover. Images of the event can be requested free of charge for editorial purposes.
Here are some impressions from the evening: